Poppy remains vital Remembrance Day symbol 0
Legion member Wes Kirkby accepts donations for poppies at TD Canada Trust in Delhi on Nov. 4. (SARAH DOKTOR Delhi News-Record)
There is a new poppy man in town.
Jim Williams has taken over the position of Poppy Chairman at Legion Branch 125. The poppy has been seen as a symbol of remembrance since 1921, and this will be Williams' first year attending the Remembrance Day ceremony in Delhi.
Members of the Legion were out on Friday and Saturday collecting donations for their annual poppy campaign. Williams said the donations are going well so far. They won't know exactly how much money has been raised until the money is counted after Remembrance Day. The money collected is held in trust until it is donated back out into the community.
Don Drinkwater was the Poppy Chairman for 11 years at the Delhi Legion before handing the job over to Williams. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1944 and completed seven years of service as an aircraft mechanic. Drinkwater said he took on the job as Poppy Chairman because "we help a lot of people and we help a lot of causes."
Drinkwater and Williams agree the poppy campaign isn't as good as it used to be.
Drinkwater says it's harder to get people out there to distribute the poppies because some veterans are getting too old and the younger ones don't want to spend the time it takes. There are Army Cadets that help collect donations but because they are in school they only distribute poppies on weekends.
He says that they are still able to fulfill their obligations, though, through donations boxes as well as the volunteers that do help.
Drinkwater says Remembrance Day is, "a time for people to come together."
Williams believes kids are getting more involved with Remembrance Day because of Canada's involvement in Afghanistan.
Wes Kirkby was a mechanic and driver in the Royal Canadian Army for 27 years. He served NATO postings in Norway and Germany and two peacekeeping tours in the Middle East.
Kirkby says the poppy "means the world to me," Because of all the people that died in previous wars.
Along with the poppy sales, Williams is busy putting together wreaths that will be laid during the Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11 by families who have lost a loved one. More than 40 wreaths will be presented.
Last year there were more than 100 people that attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph on King Street.
519-426-3528 ext. 112